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Tokyo International Anime Fair canceled following earthquake

In the wake of last week’s devastating earthquake in Japan, organizers have canceled the Tokyo International Anime Fair, set for March 24-27 at the Tokyo Big Sight.

The announcement, made on the event’s official website, pointed to concerns about the safety of participants and attendees, given unstable transportation services and power shortages. Last year’s fair drew more than 130,000 attendees.

According to Anime News Network, the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, located on Odaiba island in Tokyo Bay, suffered unspecified damages during the quake.

This year’s fair, operated by the Tokyo metropolitan government, had been boycotted by a group of 10 manga publishers, including Shueisha, Shogakukan and Kodansha, following the passage of a controversial amendment further restricting the sale or rental to minors of manga and anime containing “extreme” depictions of sexual acts. As a result of the protest, the number of companies participating in the event fell dramatically, from 244 in 2010 to 161 this year.

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